Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Proverbs 31 devotional

So, I have been getting this new emailed devotional and it's really good. If you are interested in having the daily devotionals emailed to you, just go here. I posted today's devotional at the bottom. Check it out!

Tonight is always very special to me. Gregory asked me to marry him on New Years Eve, 3 yrs ago. We are excited to bring in the New Year with some good friends tonight. Happy New Year to you. And be safe tonight! Until next year, much love and many blessings!


The Night I Lost All Hope

31 Dec 2008

Elaine Bonds, She Speaks Graduate

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
I remember it so well – the night I lost all hope. I had been hoping that my prodigal son was not lying to me. While I was 99% sure he was, I still clung to the 1% chance he was telling the truth. My heart simply refused to give up that final thread of hope.

As a condition of living in our home again, we asked that our 21-year old son attend a weekly support group meeting. We wanted him back home; his other living choice was not a good one. But we needed to establish boundaries , offering a safe place to live without tolerating or enabling his destructive behavior. We wanted to start rebuilding the trust we had lost. One building block was his Friday night support group meeting. Though our son said he was attending, in my heart I felt something was wrong.

One night I just had to know if he was living up to his commitment. I drove to the place where his meeting was held and my fears were confirmed: he was nowhere to be found. I went right home and waited. When he came home I asked about his meeting. “The meeting was fine. I’m tired and going to bed.” I had caught him in a lie!

Hope left me and discouragement came quickly to replace it. I couldn’t even confront him – at least not yet. I needed time to wrestle with the loss of the 1% of hope. It was just a tiny bit of hope. No big loss, right? … Wrong! That last 1% of hope is what I held onto the tightest. I was so angry and crushed. But then, God spoke. He cho se a friend to speak His Words to me the very next day. She had no clue what was happening with our son. She just prayed what God prompted her -- for me to have HOPE! She emailed me her prayer:

“Father, You are the God of all hope. Your Word tells us that those who hope in You will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint. I pray this for Elaine this morning … that she will place her HOPE in You and You alone …”

Reading her prayer, it suddenly became clear to me. My hope had been in my son and in that weekly meeting. The hope I had lost – that 1% I’d been clinging to – was human hope. That kind of hope is in limited quantity, and when it runs out, you are left drained, discouraged, disappointed and …hopeless! Oh, it may masquerade as “hope,” but it is completely different from the hope that God provides. God’s hope renews and refreshes. It empowers, uplifts, and strengthens. God’s hope does not disappoint! There is an unlimited supply of God’s hope.

God knew I had been clinging to human hope, and He knew that last 1% of weak, feeble hope would run out. He wanted me to cling to Him, the God of true, lasting, unlimited hope. So, as I wiped my tears, I waited as the winds of God’s hope blew my way. My circumstances were still the same, but my heart was now filled with the hope that only God can provide.

Dear Lord, Thank You for Your wonderful, everlasting hope. Please help me always put my hope in You and You alone. Thank You that with You all things are possible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Pray today about a situation you’ve considered hopeless. Ask God to give you His perspective and His hope.

Ask God to reveal where you are placing your hope. Are you hoping in your husband, your bank account, your job, a program, a promise from someone? Or, are you truly placing your hope in the Lord?

Let 2009 be a year that you place your hope in God alone.

Power Verses:
Psalm 42:5, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (NIV)

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)

Psalm 147:11, “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Elaine Bonds. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New blog for the new year

I started a new blog for the new year...check it out and let me know what you think!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Well, I was going to type up a little Christmas message for everyone. But as I was reading my other friends blogs-I came across my good friend Ashly's. After reading hers I knew I needed to share it on mine as well. So-Merry Christmas to you all. I couldn't have said it better than Ashly. This is what it's all about. Ashly is such an inspiration to me. I am so thankful that God placed her and her amazing hubby,Denny, in my life! Click here to read the Christmas entry and if I were you I'd add her to your blog reader. Her entries are always very inspiring! The Tucker family blog

Love always-

Vegas trip with the Owens!!!

We took a random last minute trip to Las Vegas with some great friends. We enjoyed it so much that we might make it an annual trip. We were there from 12/18-12/23, stayed in the Flamingo right in the middle of the strip. It was AWESOME! The best part is we took money to spend on lunch, snacks, taxi rides, and a little gambling. We ended up coming home with more money that we brought. We were lucky on roulette, craps, and sports betting! Anyway-below are a few pictures...ENJOY!

Here's me and hubby just chilling at dinner :)
And this is the Owens, who we love very much!
Yup, Gregory and I met the real Elvis...haha...seriously, he was great!
This me and Kristen, or as I call her Dinny!
And the fours of us-outside Caesar's Palace!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A peace that transcends all understanding...

So this morning, I woke up feeling strange. I just started my day with being what I like to call "emotional". It's not a good thing. I cry for no reason and just feel sad. But as I finally got up, I checked my email and had two things that God really spoke to me. One was an email from my mom. It had these verses attached to it.

John 15
The Vine and the Branches
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2.He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3.You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4.Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6.If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7.If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8.This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10.If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11.I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12.My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13.Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14.You are my friends if you do what I command. 15.I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16.You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The next thing was a devotional called Proverbs 31 Ministries. It had a verses and some truths to meditate on.

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.”
Psalm 61:1-4 (NIV)

Shifting Emotion:
I don’t always feel noticed by other people. Everyone just seems to be wrapped up in their own lives. Sometimes I even wonder if God notices me.

Solid Truth:
God not only notices us, He is with us at all times. We are to keep ourselves in God’s love whether we feel Him or not. By praying, and filling our minds with God’s truth, His love will grow in us and through us. Then we won’t be so consumed with wanting others to notice us. We will become people who notice others and let God’s love shine on them. Jude 1:20-21, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (NIV)

Shifting Emotion:
I don’t feel very loved. Therefore, I don’t feel like being very loving towards others.

Solid Truth:
We are dearly loved by God. His love enables us to display compassion, kindness and patience even when we don’t feel like it. Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (NIV)

Shifting Emotion:
Does God really care about this situation I’m in?

Solid Truth:
God is with us. As we cry out to Him, we are reminded of His help. Proverbs 61:1-4, “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” (NIV)


I'm hanging on to the words of God today. Thanks for saving those who are crushed in spirit! I love my BIG God!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Always, Never, All, Will, Belong

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. "
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

So I read this verse today and thought about me. I'm not ALWAYS joyful. Sometimes, I forget to pray. And I know I'm not thankful in ALL circumstances. But I do know that I belong to Christ. That is where I find my identity. I need to have a change of heart. I know God is trying to teach me to be patient but it's hard. My flesh wants to crawl up in a ball and hide in my closet. Please pray for me. i'll write more later!